The 25 best Classic Rock albums of 1982

6 July 2024, 20:00

Classic albums from 1982: Iron Maiden, Toto, The Clash and Led Zeppelin
Classic albums from 1982: Iron Maiden, Toto, The Clash and Led Zeppelin. Picture: Press

Radio X turns back the clock to the days of The Number Of The Beast, Toto IV, Combat Rock and Coda.

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  1. Scorpions - Blackout: release date 8th March 1982

    The eight album from the German hard rockers included the singles No One Like You, Can't Live Without You and Now!

    Scorpions - Blackout cover artwork
    Scorpions - Blackout cover artwork. Picture: Alamy
  2. Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast: released 22nd March 1982

    Maiden's third album saw the arrival of vocalist Bruce Dickinson in place of Paul Di'Anno and spawned the memorable title track and the hit Run To The Hills.

    Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
    Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  3. Asia - Asia: release date 2nd April 1982

    The British rock supergroup featured Geoff Downes and Steve Howe from Yes, King Crimson man John Wetton and Carl Palmer from ELP. Their debut album included the hit Heat Of The Moment, plus Only Time Will Tell and Sole Survivor.

    Asia - Asia album cover
    Asia - Asia album cover. Picture: Alamy
  4. Toto - Toto IV: release date 8th April 1982

    The LA rock band had a huge international hit with their fourth album, which went (fittingly) four times Platinum in the USA. The two big hits from the album were Rosanna and the eternally popular Africa.

    Toto - Toto IV album artwork
    Toto - Toto IV album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  5. Paul McCartney - Tug Of War: release date 26th April 1982

    Macca's first album since he called time on his band Wings, and his first in the wake of John Lennon's murder in December 1980. Tug Of War saw Paul work with Beatles producer George Martin and the album garnered the hits Ebony & Ivory featuring Stevie Wonder, Take It Away and the title track.

    Paul McCartney - Tug Of War album artwork
    Paul McCartney - Tug Of War album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  6. John Cougar - American Fool: release date 27th April 1982

    Aka John Cougar Mellencamp, this was the fifth album from the Indiana singer-songwriter and included his huge hit Jack & Diane.

    John Cougar - American Fool album artwork
    John Cougar - American Fool album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  7. Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra: released May 1982

    The San Franciscan rock band had a resurgence in popularity when this album crossed over in a big way - it was their biggest hit in the UK. Singles included Keeps Me Wondering Why, Give It Up and the title track, which made Number 2 in July 1982.

    Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra album artwork
    Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  8. The Clash - Combat Rock: released 14th May 1982

    The fifth album from the punk legends included the hits Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Rock The Casbah and Straight To Hell.

    The Clash - Combat Rock
    The Clash - Combat Rock. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  9. Queen - Hot Space: released 21st May 1982

    The band attracted some criticism for this, their "disco" album, but the tracks have aged better than many expected, with Body Language and Back Chat bringing the funk and Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love) being a classic Queen ballad.

    Queen - Hot Space
    Queen - Hot Space. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  10. Blondie - The Hunter: released 24th May 1982

    The band's final album for seventeen years, which led to a solo career for Debbie Harry. Tracks included Island Of Lost Souls, War Child and Danceway, plus the Blondie's attempt at a James Bond theme, For Your Eyes Only.

    Blondie - The Hunter
    Blondie - The Hunter. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  11. Roxy Music - Avalon: released 28th May 1982

    The final album from Bryan Ferry's ground-breaking band included the exquisite title track and More Than This.

    Roxy Music - Avalon
    Roxy Music - Avalon. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  12. Chicago - Chicago 16: release date 7th June 1982

    Confusingly, this was the US rock band's thirteenth studio album (they included a couple of compilations and a live LP in the tally) and included the singles Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Love Me Tomorrow and What You're Missing.

    Chicago - Chicago 16 album artwork
    Chicago - Chicago 16 album artwork. Picture: Press
  13. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage: release date 18th June 1982

    Mirage would be the band's final album for five years, when they returned with the huge hit Tango In The Night. This LP did, however, include a Top 10 hit in Oh Diane.

    Fleetwood Mac Mirage album artwork
    Fleetwood Mac Mirage album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  14. Billy Idol - Billy Idol: release date 16th July 1982

    The former William Broad's first solo album after the split of Generation X featured the singles Hot In The City and the evergreen White Wedding.

    Billy Idol debut album 1982
    Billy Idol debut album 1982. Picture: Alamy
  15. The Who - It's Hard: release date 3rd September 1982

    The veteran rock band's second album to feature fromer Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones was also the final Who LP to include original bassist John Entwistle. It would be The Who's last album until the release of Endless Wire in 2006.

    The Who - It's Hard album artwork
    The Who - It's Hard album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  16. Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel IV: release date 10th September 1982

    The former Genesis frontman's fourth self-titled solo album included the singles I Have The Touch and Shock The Monkey.

    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel IV album artwork
    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel IV album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  17. Kate Bush - The Dreaming: released 13th September 1982

    The musician's fourth album included the singles Sat In Your Lap, There Goes A Tenner and Suspended In Gaffa.

    Kate Bush - The Dreaming
    Kate Bush - The Dreaming. Picture: Press
  18. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84): released 17th September 1982

    The fifth studio album from the Scottish band included the singles Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize.

    Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
    Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84). Picture: Press
  19. Dire Straits - Love Over Gold: release date 24th September 1982

    The fourth album from Mark Knopfler and co included the singles Private Investigations and Industrial Disease, plus the 15 minute epic Telegraph Road.

    Dire Straits - Love Over Gold album artwork
    Dire Straits - Love Over Gold album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  20. Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now: released 24th September 1982

    The third album from Richard Butler and his post-punk outfit included the hit Love My Way.

    Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
    Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now. Picture: Press
  21. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska: released 30th September 1982

    The Boss famously issued the 4-track demo versions of his latest songs as his sixth album. Tracks included Atlantic City and Open All Night.

    Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
    Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska. Picture: Press
  22. Donald Fagen - The Nightfly: release date 1st October 1982

    The recording of Steely Dan's Gaucho in 1980 had caused Donald Fagen and Walter Becker to pause their songwriting partnership, leading Fagen to go solo with this acclaimed album that featured I.G.Y., Ruby Baby and New Frontier.

    Donald Fagen - The Nightfly album cover
    Donald Fagen - The Nightfly album cover. Picture: Alamy
  23. Prince - 1999: released 27th October 1982

    The album that put Prince on the map, his fifth studio LP saw him form The Revolution and singles included Little Red Corvette and the classic title track.

    Prince - 1999
    Prince - 1999. Picture: Press
  24. Whitesnake - Saints & Sinners: release date 15th November 1982

    The fifth album from the British hard rock band fronted by David Coverdale included the original version of Here I Go Again.

    Whitesnake - Saints & Sinners album artwork
    Whitesnake - Saints & Sinners album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  25. Led Zeppelin - Coda: release date 26th November 1982

    Following drummer John Bonham's death in Septemner 1980, the legendary rock band called it a day. Coda was a posthumous collection of outtakes and live tracks, dating from 1968 through to the In Through The Out Door sessions in 1978.

    Led Zeppelin - Coda album artwork
    Led Zeppelin - Coda album artwork. Picture: Alamy